The length of time it takes to potty train is dependent on the individual child but we can look at potty training trends to give us an idea of what to expect. There is a trend towards potty training taking longer which is partly attributed to more widespread use of pull up training nappies which appear to children to be a nappy and which also make it difficult for them to recognise the feeling of wetness; the first stage of learning during potty training.
Studies by Blum et al show that it you tackle potty training when the child is ready (not too early, not too late, just right, like in Goldilocks!) then it takes about 3 to 4 months for children to be accident free.
We conducted some research in the summer of 2018 and asked over 1,100 parents how long it took before their children were accident free in the day. Our findings suggest that most children are becoming accident free within 3 months.
Of the total sample size, 30% were accident free in the day within one week, with the total figure almost doubling (59%) by the end of 4 weeks. 3 out of 4 children were accident free within 3 months.
When we looked at the boy/girl split, more girls than boys were accident free within the first four weeks, however after that the trends were equal up to 6 months. A bigger percentage of boys than girls became dry in the day after 6 months.
When we looked at the age split we found that children who were between 3 and 4 were slightly more likely (36% against 33%) to train within one week. The second highest age range of children becoming accident free within one week was those who were between 2 ½ and 3. Only one in four children over the age of 4 managed to become accident free within one week.
Children under the age of 2 ½ made up over 60% of the children who became accident free within 2 to 4 weeks.
The ones that were taking the longest length of time to complete training were fairly evenly spread across the age groups.